As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I don’t normally like to promote events – but the upcoming Australian Social Innovation Camp (ASIC) is something special.
That’s because as technology entrepreneurs we either forget how powerful the Internet, and technology more generally, can be as a tool for social change, or think that social outcomes and business outcomes can’t coexist, therefore focusing more on the latter. Both of these are a shame.
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ASIC aims to address this by using a Startup Camp approach to turning ideas for social innovation into real “stuff” in just one weekend.
To quote the site:
“The social innovation camp is a weekend of passion and commitment, clever thinking and a bit of technology to work on new ways to make a difference on the social issues, big and small, that we face as a community and as a country.”
Details are as follows:
Where: UNSW CBD Campus – Sydney
When: March 5-7 2010
Registrations close: 17th February 2010
The first stage of the process was to select ideas to work on over the weekend.
From a large number of applications the selection panel whittled it down to the following 8 worthy projects:
- Matching local volunteers with recently arrived refugees
- Helping small farmers market their produce directly to consumers
- Collecting tools for good
- Micro-volunteering site
- Wiki to guide people through health services
- Car pooling database
- Citizens demanding and creating their own statistics
- User generated local stories
The second stage is the camp – where over a weekend the ideas will be turned into something more tangible.
Here’s a summary of how it’s all going to go down.
I met up with Raul Caceres and Michelle Williams who are working on the project, last week, and they talked me through the purpose of ASIC and their future plans. It’s clear they’re passionate about enabling change and it’s great to see them coordinating people to get stuff done.
Also, while the camp is a headlining event, they work daily to make sure social innovation gets more and more attention – so check out the Australian Social Innovation Exchange (ASIX) site for more info on how you can get involved even if you can’t get involved on the actual weekend.